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Sep 09

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Ebola and “exponential growth”

WHO: Map of Ebola Cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as of 6 September 2014

WHO: Map of Ebola Cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as of 6 September 2014

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has not received the resources it merits, in part because other Ebola outbreaks proved relatively easy to contain. Those epidemics, however, tended to take place in a rural context, and Africa has changed profoundly since the 1970s. The urbanization and transportation networks that are remaking the region have also meant that it is far easier for diseases to spread. The current outbreak is expanding exponentially. The latest map on the Ebola outbreak by the World Health Organization makes clear the scale of the challenge that the global community now faces. When you look at this map, keep in mind that these are confirmed cases. So this map is an underestimate. According to some calculations, there may be 100,000 cases in Africa by December. Without rapid and massive international aid, this outbreak will not be controlled. On Twitter? I recommend following Laurie Garrett (Pulitzer prize winner for her writing on public health), who has a great commentary on the outbreak, which includes key documents such as this map. If you are interested in global health, you might also be interested in my book on the AIDS Pandemic in Latin America.

Shawn Smallman, Portland State University

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/09/ebola-and-exponential-growth/